Portsmouth's sprightly Ronan Curtis refuses to slow after exhausting 2018

Livewire Ronan Curtis is adamant he is untouched by fatigue as his gruelling 2018 approaches the end.

Wednesday, 12th December 2018, 4:21 pm
Updated Wednesday, 9th January 2019, 8:20 am
Sprightly Ronan Curtis has shrugged off an exhausting 2018. Picture: Joe Pepler

The winger's rapid rise has been achieved despite restricted to just two-and-a-half weeks off during the entire calendar year.

Curtis has so far featured 53 times in 2018, representing Derry City, Pompey, Republic of Ireland under-21s and Eire's senior side.

It's an exhaustive schedule which began in January as Derry's League of Ireland Premier Division campaign kicked off.

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Sprightly Ronan Curtis has shrugged off an exhausting 2018. Picture: Joe Pepler

His last match for the Candystripes arrived on June 8 against Bohemians '“ before linking up with new Pompey team-mates on June 27 for pre-season training.

Since then, Curtis has made 22 appearances for Pompey, while forced his way into the Republic of Ireland side.

Now the 22-year-old is faced with another four matches before 2019 dawns '“ yet insists he remains as sprightly as ever.

He told The News: '˜My season at Derry started in January, so basically I've had a whole year of playing football.

'˜But I'm young, fit and ready for it. I really enjoy playing.

'˜That's a good few games I have played in 2018, but I'm all right, to be fair. I'm a young lad and know what I want to do.

'˜I don't want to be sat on the bench as a young player, I want to play and be in the squad, I'm a fit young lad so I can do it.

'˜I feel great at the moment, playing regularly just depends how far we go, especially with the cup games.

'˜I don't feel tired, though, I'm up for the task.

'˜I put everything into it, I'm a hard-working player and still feel I can continue to do that.'

Pompey's players were handed around seven weeks off during the summer in the form of the traditional post-season break.

With the League of Ireland running from January to October, it ensured Curtis was not offered that opportunity to rest.

Instead he was given two-and-a-half weeks between his Derry departure and first-day training with Pompey.

The youngster then featured six times during the Blues' pre-season friendly schedule, earning a first-team spot for the League One campaign in the process.

Curtis has missed six matches during the current campaign, although five of those absences have been through international commitments.

The Checkatrade Trophy win over Arsenal under-21s earlier this month is the sole occasion he has been left out by Kenny Jackett when available.

Yet Curtis is not alone in terms of a young player negotiating an exhausting 2018.

Matt Clarke has featured in 49 of Pompey's 50 matches played during that period.

Curtis added: '˜Matt Clarke is a year younger than me and flying at the minute and a very good player.

'˜He's young and can do it as well.

'˜Sometimes I get taken off on 60-70 minutes, but I've played most games for Pompey.'